Friday, December 18, 2009

Walgreen leads U.S. drugstores with H1N1 vaccine

CHICAGO-Walgreen Co has H1N1 flu shots in more states than other drugstores and aims to have national distribution of the vaccine by the end of December, a move that could give it a competitive edge in luring shoppers.
Walgreen, which operates Walgreens drugstores and Take Care clinics, is already offering the H1N1 vaccine at more than 1,500 locations in 27 U.S. states and Washington D.C. Rival CVS Caremark Corp is offering vaccinations against H1N1, or swine flu, in 20 states and Washington D.C. Administering more H1N1 vaccinations could be "very constructive," particularly for Walgreen, said Pali Capital analyst Robert Summers, who follows the drugstore industry.
"There's really only upside. It's probably just a matter of magnitude," Summers said. "You can take customers away from other operators with this type of initiative."
Walgreen has more than 17,000 workers approved to administer vaccinations. For now, it is only immunizing in less than 25 percent of its more than 7,140 stores...

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